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{"id":555824611401,"title":"Ka'Chava Review: \"Superfood\" That's Anything But Super","created_at":"2021-09-04T16:04:53-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Ka'Chava Review: 'Superfood' That's Anything But Super\",\n \"keywords\": \"ka chava, ka chava review, ka chava reviews, ka chava protein, ka chava vs huel\",\n \"description\": \"Our MD and research team analyze the formulation of Ka’Chava and explain why we don't recommend it as a meal replacement. We also compare Ka'Chava to Huel, another popular meal replacement brand.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/kachava-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"contributor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/KaChava_Thumbnail.jpg?v=1642558305\",\n\"width\": \"1817\",\n\"height\": \"1817\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/10198297\/\", \n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/beyond-meat-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3184420\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/high-voltage-detox-review\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"meal replacement\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"nutrition\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"fruits and vegetables\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"maca powder\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"synthetic vitamins\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"calories\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2021-11-28\",\n\"dateModified\": \"2022-01-18\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Logo.png?v=1641249064\", \n \"width\": 150,\n \"height\": 150\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/KaChava_Review_Article_Header_Image_Optimized_98d4e926-0c90-4840-a278-7275880e26ca.png?v=1642558662\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eK\u003c\/span\u003ea’Chava is a whole-foods based meal replacement powder which claims to provide many health benefits because it’s formulated with “superfoods.” The founders suggest that the nutrient density of their formulations can improve overall health.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn this article we’ll review the formulation of Ka’Chava and determine whether we believe it’s a healthy meal replacement alternative.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOur review will analyze the different sections of Ka'Chava's formulation: protein, fiber, super fruits \u0026amp; super greens, adaptogen blend, probiotics\/prebiotics, and finally vitamins and minerals.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003e\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eFormulation Review - Protein\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Ka_Chava_Protein.png?v=1630786821\" alt=\"Ka'Chava Protein ingredients list\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eKa’Chava’s protein blend provides 25 g protein per serving which is a good amount for a single meal, even for athletes looking to build muscle. 20 g of protein as a minimum appears to be optimal for muscle growth post-workout \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/10198297\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ebased on medical studies\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, so Ka’Chava’s health claim of “supporting muscle growth” does appear to be backed by science.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe formulation is vegan, so pea protein is used as the core protein source, which is a good choice because pea protein (unlike some vegan protein sources) is a complete protein which contains all essential amino acids. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/beyond-meat-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBeyond Meat\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e uses pea protein as their base protein for the same reason.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eProviding protein from multiple sources may be nutritionally superior to protein from one source because each food source has different micronutrients and health benefits.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eFormulation Review - Fiber\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Ka_Chava_Fiber.png?v=1630786865\" alt=\"Ka'Chava Fiber ingredients list\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRecommended fiber intake is over 25 g daily, and many Americans don’t get enough. Fiber is not only important generally for health, but also is associated with increased weight loss in those dieting because it leads to a sense of fullness while adding minimal calories.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eKa’Chava provides 9 g of fiber per serving, which is a relatively high amount for only 240 calories worth of nutrition. We believe this would benefit most Americans. All fiber in this product comes from natural sources.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eFormulation Review - Super Greens \u0026amp; Super Fruits\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Ka_Chava_Fruit.png?v=1630786890\" alt=\"Ka'Chava Super Fruit ingredients list\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Ka_Chava_Vegetable.png?v=1630786913\" alt=\"Ka'Chava vegetables ingredients list\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMany different fruits and vegetables are added to this formulation, but the dosage is questionable. The super fruits blend contains 6.1 g, but the first listed ingredient is coconut nectar which provides the added sugars (but is healthier than processed cane sugar in our opinion). \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBecause these are proprietary blends, we don’t know how much of the super fruits formulation is this natural added sugar, but we can assume it’s a lot because the veggie blend is only 500 mg, or less than 10% of the dosage of the fruits blend.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIf the fruit and veggie dosage minus the added coconut sugar only equals about 1 g, that wouldn’t be able to provide much nutrients. 1 g (even of dry powder) is a small amount. As an example, one cup spinach is 30 g, and is not much food.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOften companies add very small amounts of exotic ingredients like chlorella and tart cherry to make their product label seem more impressive, and that appears to be the case here.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eFormulation Review - Adaptogen Blend\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Ka_Chava_Adaptogens.png?v=1630786943\" alt=\"Ka'Chava Adaptogens ingredients list\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe first ingredient in this blend is raw maca powder, which is a sign the formulators aren’t that educated about herbal nutrition. Maca powder is very hard to digest raw, similar to potato powder (which you wouldn’t eat raw either), and is nearly always used in a gelatinized form to avoid digestive discomfort and improve absorption. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3184420\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMedical studies use gelatinized maca\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, and most traditional cultures that consume maca use a treated or cooked version.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe have no issues with the other ingredients in this prop blend, but there’s an argument to be made that adaptogenic herbs like mushrooms should be consumed in isolation to determine their effects.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eGenerally it can be hard to tell what’s working if five different compounds used to improve cognitive function are taken at once, but in the context of this formulation these ingredients are used for their nutrient value and are safe so we have no major issue.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eFormulation Review - Probiotics\/Prebiotics \u0026amp; Digestive Enzymes\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Ka_Chava_Probiotics_Enzymes.png?v=1630786967\" alt=\"Ka'Chava Probiotics and Enzymes ingredients list\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eProbiotics are almost always listed by colony forming units (CFU) on Supplement Facts labels because this is the medical standard, but are not in this case. This is another sign Ka’Chava’s formulators aren’t experts in our opinion. We’ve never even come across a formulation where probiotics weren’t listed in CFU.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAdditionally, only the probiotic species but not the strain are listed. This is another sign of amateur formulators. Different strains of probiotics within the same species may have different health effects, just like a blood orange and a sweet orange are the same species (\u003cem\u003ecitrus sinensis\u003c\/em\u003e) but have unique chemical composition.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe digestive enzymes section seems safe and a relatively small dosage, but we aren’t really sure why digestive enzymes are included in a meal replacement. Regardless they should cause no issue at the listed dosage.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eFormulation Review - Vitamins and Minerals\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/KaChava_Vitamins_Minerals_Optimized.png?v=1630786605\" alt=\"Ka'Chava Vitamins and Minerals list\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThe first thing to note is how extensive Ka'Chava's Supplement Facts label is overall. While some of the nutrients come from whole foods, unfortunately Ka’Chava has added many synthetic vitamins and minerals to increase the listed levels on their Supplement Facts panel.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThis is a common practice in the industry; many health companies add synthetic vitamins and minerals to their formulations to make their Supplement Facts label look more impressive, like the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/high-voltage-detox-review\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eHigh Voltage Detox drink\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e we recently reviewed, because most consumers assume all of these nutrients are coming from food and that the product must be nutritionally superior to competitors.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eKa’Chava contains over 50% of the Recommended Daily Value (DV) of several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, molybdenum, chromium, magnesium and more.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe don’t agree with the practice of adding random vitamin and mineral blends to products, because we don’t believe this is safe for consumers. So many supplement and food companies are doing this that consumers taking multiple products could end up with unhealthy levels of certain vitamins or minerals without even knowing it. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eVitamins and minerals should be supplemented on a targeted basis. A patient deficient in Vitamin B-12 (as documented by a lab test) should supplement B12 with their doctor’s supervision until the deficiency is corrected. There is no proven benefit to taking random blends of vitamins and minerals that you're not deficient in, and the practice could be harmful for consumer health especially in regards to fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A and certain minerals like copper.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eLow Calorie Level\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eKa’Chava markets itself as a meal, but the calorie level is far too low to be considered a meal, especially for active consumers and athletes who have higher calorie requirements.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe blend provides 240 calories, which is less than 10% of what most active men would need, and less than 15% of what most active women would need (depending on weight for both genders). This is a small number of calories.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMost whole food meals provide at least 500 calories, and nearly $5 for a fraction of the calories you need in a day seems like a high price.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe would have no issue if the brand just marketed themselves as a healthy shake mix, but the suggestion that this product constitutes a meal is inaccurate and misleading in our opinion.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eNo Scientists or Doctors on Team\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eKa’Chava has no publicly listed team, and their founders appear to be a couple with no medical credentials. We’ve seen a trend in all of our health product reviews where people with no medical background generally formulate inferior products, and the trend holds in this case.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFormulating an effective nutritional supplement requires tons of research and existing knowledge of nutrition and human biology. We recommend people consider whether there are credentialed experts behind the consumable products they’re taking, like doctors or scientists, because people with no medical background aren’t likely to understand the medical research behind herbal ingredients, or how to formulate an effective product, and that appears to be the case here.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eKa’Chava Vs. Huel\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHuel is another popular meal replacement brand, and many consumers are curious about which is healthier.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn our opinion Ka’Chava has a superior formulation to Huel but we wouldn't recommend either. Both brands use flavoring agents which are just listed as “natural flavor” and provide consumers with no information on what chemicals are actually used and whether they’re safe.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBoth formulations contain added synthetic vitamins which in our opinion are wholly unnecessary and potentially harmful.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBut Huel also includes an artificial sweetener called sucralose which we recommend avoiding, and has far fewer whole food ingredients. Those differences lead us to believe Ka’Chava is superior from a health perspective.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eKa’Chava powder is decently formulated but leaves much to be desired from a health perspective. The founders don’t appear to have any medical credentials, and the product contains unnecessary synthetic vitamins and minerals, as well as natural flavors.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe don’t recommend this product as a meal replacement even though it’s arguably superior to some other meal replacement products on the market.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2021-11-28T00:30:02-05:00","updated_at":"2022-01-18T21:17:47-05:00","summary_html":"We analyze the formulation of meal replacement mix Ka’Chava and explain why we don't recommend the brand. We also compare Ka'Chava to Huel, another popular meal replacement mix.","template_suffix":"","handle":"kachava-review","tags":"_related:meal-replacement"}

Ka'Chava Review: "Superfood" That's Anything But Super

Ka'Chava Review: "Superfood" That's Anything But Super


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.
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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Ka’Chava is a whole-foods based meal replacement powder which claims to provide many health benefits because it’s formulated with “superfoods.” The founders suggest that the nutrient density of their formulations can improve overall health.

In this article we’ll review the formulation of Ka’Chava and determine whether we believe it’s a healthy meal replacement alternative.

Our review will analyze the different sections of Ka'Chava's formulation: protein, fiber, super fruits & super greens, adaptogen blend, probiotics/prebiotics, and finally vitamins and minerals.

Formulation Review - Protein

Ka'Chava Protein ingredients list

Ka’Chava’s protein blend provides 25 g protein per serving which is a good amount for a single meal, even for athletes looking to build muscle. 20 g of protein as a minimum appears to be optimal for muscle growth post-workout based on medical studies, so Ka’Chava’s health claim of “supporting muscle growth” does appear to be backed by science.

The formulation is vegan, so pea protein is used as the core protein source, which is a good choice because pea protein (unlike some vegan protein sources) is a complete protein which contains all essential amino acids. Beyond Meat uses pea protein as their base protein for the same reason.

Providing protein from multiple sources may be nutritionally superior to protein from one source because each food source has different micronutrients and health benefits.

Formulation Review - Fiber

Ka'Chava Fiber ingredients list

Recommended fiber intake is over 25 g daily, and many Americans don’t get enough. Fiber is not only important generally for health, but also is associated with increased weight loss in those dieting because it leads to a sense of fullness while adding minimal calories.

Ka’Chava provides 9 g of fiber per serving, which is a relatively high amount for only 240 calories worth of nutrition. We believe this would benefit most Americans. All fiber in this product comes from natural sources.

Formulation Review - Super Greens & Super Fruits

Ka'Chava Super Fruit ingredients list

Ka'Chava vegetables ingredients list

Many different fruits and vegetables are added to this formulation, but the dosage is questionable. The super fruits blend contains 6.1 g, but the first listed ingredient is coconut nectar which provides the added sugars (but is healthier than processed cane sugar in our opinion). 

Because these are proprietary blends, we don’t know how much of the super fruits formulation is this natural added sugar, but we can assume it’s a lot because the veggie blend is only 500 mg, or less than 10% of the dosage of the fruits blend.

If the fruit and veggie dosage minus the added coconut sugar only equals about 1 g, that wouldn’t be able to provide much nutrients. 1 g (even of dry powder) is a small amount. As an example, one cup spinach is 30 g, and is not much food.

Often companies add very small amounts of exotic ingredients like chlorella and tart cherry to make their product label seem more impressive, and that appears to be the case here.

Formulation Review - Adaptogen Blend

Ka'Chava Adaptogens ingredients list

The first ingredient in this blend is raw maca powder, which is a sign the formulators aren’t that educated about herbal nutrition. Maca powder is very hard to digest raw, similar to potato powder (which you wouldn’t eat raw either), and is nearly always used in a gelatinized form to avoid digestive discomfort and improve absorption. Medical studies use gelatinized maca, and most traditional cultures that consume maca use a treated or cooked version.

We have no issues with the other ingredients in this prop blend, but there’s an argument to be made that adaptogenic herbs like mushrooms should be consumed in isolation to determine their effects.

Generally it can be hard to tell what’s working if five different compounds used to improve cognitive function are taken at once, but in the context of this formulation these ingredients are used for their nutrient value and are safe so we have no major issue.

Formulation Review - Probiotics/Prebiotics & Digestive Enzymes

Ka'Chava Probiotics and Enzymes ingredients list

Probiotics are almost always listed by colony forming units (CFU) on Supplement Facts labels because this is the medical standard, but are not in this case. This is another sign Ka’Chava’s formulators aren’t experts in our opinion. We’ve never even come across a formulation where probiotics weren’t listed in CFU.

Additionally, only the probiotic species but not the strain are listed. This is another sign of amateur formulators. Different strains of probiotics within the same species may have different health effects, just like a blood orange and a sweet orange are the same species (citrus sinensis) but have unique chemical composition.

The digestive enzymes section seems safe and a relatively small dosage, but we aren’t really sure why digestive enzymes are included in a meal replacement. Regardless they should cause no issue at the listed dosage.

Formulation Review - Vitamins and Minerals

Ka'Chava Vitamins and Minerals list

The first thing to note is how extensive Ka'Chava's Supplement Facts label is overall. While some of the nutrients come from whole foods, unfortunately Ka’Chava has added many synthetic vitamins and minerals to increase the listed levels on their Supplement Facts panel.

This is a common practice in the industry; many health companies add synthetic vitamins and minerals to their formulations to make their Supplement Facts label look more impressive, like the High Voltage Detox drink we recently reviewed, because most consumers assume all of these nutrients are coming from food and that the product must be nutritionally superior to competitors.

Ka’Chava contains over 50% of the Recommended Daily Value (DV) of several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, molybdenum, chromium, magnesium and more.

We don’t agree with the practice of adding random vitamin and mineral blends to products, because we don’t believe this is safe for consumers. So many supplement and food companies are doing this that consumers taking multiple products could end up with unhealthy levels of certain vitamins or minerals without even knowing it. 

Vitamins and minerals should be supplemented on a targeted basis. A patient deficient in Vitamin B-12 (as documented by a lab test) should supplement B12 with their doctor’s supervision until the deficiency is corrected. There is no proven benefit to taking random blends of vitamins and minerals that you're not deficient in, and the practice could be harmful for consumer health especially in regards to fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A and certain minerals like copper.

Low Calorie Level

Ka’Chava markets itself as a meal, but the calorie level is far too low to be considered a meal, especially for active consumers and athletes who have higher calorie requirements.

The blend provides 240 calories, which is less than 10% of what most active men would need, and less than 15% of what most active women would need (depending on weight for both genders). This is a small number of calories.

Most whole food meals provide at least 500 calories, and nearly $5 for a fraction of the calories you need in a day seems like a high price.

We would have no issue if the brand just marketed themselves as a healthy shake mix, but the suggestion that this product constitutes a meal is inaccurate and misleading in our opinion.

No Scientists or Doctors on Team

Ka’Chava has no publicly listed team, and their founders appear to be a couple with no medical credentials. We’ve seen a trend in all of our health product reviews where people with no medical background generally formulate inferior products, and the trend holds in this case.

Formulating an effective nutritional supplement requires tons of research and existing knowledge of nutrition and human biology. We recommend people consider whether there are credentialed experts behind the consumable products they’re taking, like doctors or scientists, because people with no medical background aren’t likely to understand the medical research behind herbal ingredients, or how to formulate an effective product, and that appears to be the case here.

Ka’Chava Vs. Huel

Huel is another popular meal replacement brand, and many consumers are curious about which is healthier.

In our opinion Ka’Chava has a superior formulation to Huel but we wouldn't recommend either. Both brands use flavoring agents which are just listed as “natural flavor” and provide consumers with no information on what chemicals are actually used and whether they’re safe.

Both formulations contain added synthetic vitamins which in our opinion are wholly unnecessary and potentially harmful.

But Huel also includes an artificial sweetener called sucralose which we recommend avoiding, and has far fewer whole food ingredients. Those differences lead us to believe Ka’Chava is superior from a health perspective.

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Conclusion

Ka’Chava powder is decently formulated but leaves much to be desired from a health perspective. The founders don’t appear to have any medical credentials, and the product contains unnecessary synthetic vitamins and minerals, as well as natural flavors.

We don’t recommend this product as a meal replacement even though it’s arguably superior to some other meal replacement products on the market.





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